Congratulations! You finally closed the sale. Now what?
Your new customer now has to figure out:
- What they need to do,
- How they need to do it, and
- How to get value from your product or service
Getting to this “Aha” moment is not going to happen by accident.
As Melanie Wing, Vice President of Strategic Marketing at Equifax, notes:
Onboarding can be such an important tipping point with customers. If you mess it up, you can do irreparable damage to the relationship.
But, in a recent survey conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, they found that many B2B product and service providers fumble their customer onboarding due to a lack of formal processes and systems around how to engage with a new customer and build a long-term relationship from the scratch. Specifically:
Only 40% of survey respondents have mechanisms to ensure that expectations set during the sales phase are actually met during the onboarding phase.
Why are customer expectations not being met?
Respondents pointed to a lack of alignment between functional areas (54%), inadequate communication with customers (51%), and limited understanding of customer needs (44%) as the top 3 culprits.
Customers today expect service providers to help them hit-the-ground-running. That’s why industry experts recommend a structured, easy-to-follow onboarding process with clear milestones and objectives that quickly guides customers to success.
If you don't have anything in place, it's time to start putting together a digital, customer onboarding process that aligns all stakeholders (you and your customer) and brings transparency and accountability to everyone involved.
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HBR: Bringing Value Onboard: Optimizing the B2B Customer Onboarding Experience
The first days and weeks of a B2B relationship are critical toward driving customer satisfaction and building value. Companies must boost their customer understanding, fully align their functional groups, and improve communications in order to succeed during the onboarding period.